Dallas Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin is set to make his NFL debut today.
He’s the first graduate from Tuttle [Oklahoma] High School to make an NFL game-day roster, but that doesn’t necessarily make him his hometown’s best homegrown talent.
That honor belongs to Jason White, the former Oklahoma quarterback who won the 2003 Heisman Trophy. White made a brief attempt to play in the pros with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, but retired without ever playing in a game because of knee issues.
So does Jarwin feel he’s almost on White’s level for celebrity status in Tuttle?
“I don’t know about that. He still has that water tower down there,” Jarwin said, smiling during an interview earlier this week. “They haven’t quite put my name up there.”
Tuttle is a 6,000-person town in the middle of Oklahoma, about 30 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.
As Jarwin described it, “Just a small farm town. It was awesome to live there. It’s where my roots are and I always try to go back and see everybody when I can.”
Jarwin had a standout athletic career at Tuttle and went on to play at Oklahoma State. He had 19 receptions for 309 yards and two touchdowns for Oklahoma State last season, and signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.
Jarwin impressed enough in training camp to earn a spot on the practice squad, and was promoted to the 53-man roster a couple weeks ago when the Philadelphia Eagles tried to poach him off the practice squad.
Now, because of a knee injury to reserve tight end Geoff Swaim, Jarwin finds himself suiting up for his NFL debut. It’s been quite the journey from Tuttle to the NFL for Jarwin.
“It’s been quite the trip,” Jarwin said. “I wouldn’t want to change anything about it. I’ve had incredible people in my life. My family has always supported me and every coach I’ve ever had has been awesome to me. Just taking it all in.”
Of course, Jarwin is confident in his abilities and ready to play at this level. He couldn’t have better mentors on the Cowboys, beginning with Jason Witten.
Swain and James Hanna have been valuable resources, as well, but Witten is a guy who has Hall of Fame-type credentials.
“He’s definitely helped me out so much,” Jarwin said. “Every day I just try to make it a point to watch everything he does. Just examine how he goes about his day and how he perfects his craft even at the level that he’s at right now.
“To have that kind of role model in front of me is really tremendous in helping me progress as a player.”